Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cross-national Lesson Drawing for Planning – Taking Advantage of Globalization

Robin Hambleton

The forces of globalization have altered the context within which planners operate dramatically. Some believe that the consequences are grim – they point to growing economic and social divisions in societies, as well as environmental exploitation and the erosion of public safety as global terror finds its place in a ‘borderless world’. A more optimistic interpretation of current trends suggests that, fuelled by advances in communications technology, global awareness is growing rapidly in the population at large. Moreover, transnational migrants are refreshing the culture and politics of many countries with the result that an increasing number of cities are now experiencing the benefits of ‘dynamic diversity’ – that is, a very rapid expansion in the percentage of foreign-born residents. In this paper, by drawing on the arguments presented in a new book [Governing Cities in a Global Era by Robin Hambleton and Jill Simone Gross (forthcoming)], we explore four themes: 1) The nature of globalization, 2) Global urban trends, 3) Dynamic diversity in the modern city, and 4) The implications of these developments for cross-national policy transfer. It will be claimed that the ideas that guide city planning theory and practice are being reshaped by a global conversation about the strengths and weaknesses of alternative ways of responding to these new challenges. By referring to concrete examples of cross-national policy transfer the paper aims to point towards new directions for planning scholarship and practice in a multicultural world.

Global brands in Hong Kong, photo by geographyalltheway.com
more posts about globalization:

Cities on the Prowl

The Missing Organizational Dimension in Urban Sociology


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